* Posts by Gomez Adams

139 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Aug 2006


Watchdog calls for automatic braking to be standard in cars

Gomez Adams

No arguments against it? What about when driving happily along on with nothing in front of you and the sensor is triggered by a phantom fly or speck of dust and you get tail-ended by an HGV?

This happens regularly on our work vans - happily just the first bit and in this case all the seosor does is flash up a red warning light with a beep. I would *not* want it touching the brakes!

Here's a fun idea: Try to unlock and drive away in someone else's Tesla

Gomez Adams

How the heck can someone drive an apparently identical car for 10/15 minutes without realising it was the wrong car?. As soon as I sit in my car after the garage has done some work on it I know this is not the car I left them with as the seat and steering wheel positions are not the same. It would be an extraordinary coincidence for the mechanic who worked on my car to be the same size and shape as me with the same driving position preferences.

Don't worry, that system's not actually active – oh, wait …

Gomez Adams

Explain to me again why membrane buttons were ever considered a good idea? Got a perfectly functional microwave oven apart from the membrane pad being knackered. Made sure the replacement had proper physical buttons.

When we asked how you crashed the system we wanted an explanation not a demonstration

Gomez Adams

Reminds me of an operator running some trainees through some basic commands on the console of our Sperry/Unisys mainframe. But of course not actually hitting Enter for those commands which could cause an issue. Finally he got round to showing them the command to reboot by keying in $! (Dollar-Bang), forgetting that this was the one command that did *not* need you to hit Enter for it to be actioned! :o

All of the norths are about to align over Britain

Gomez Adams

True North is where the heart is.

Amazon halts work on ‘Scout’ delivery-bot that delivered parcels no faster than humans

Gomez Adams

Re: I’m old fashioned

As well as having to deal with stairs there is also rough ground, overgrown shrubbery, badly parked cars blocking access and kids bikes a other toys scattered on the path up to the door.

Europe just might make it easier for people to sue for damage caused by AI tech

Gomez Adams

Presumably this will also apply to self-driving cars?

UK Info Commissioner slams use of WhatsApp by health officials during pandemic

Gomez Adams

The logical conclusion is for all officials to be wired 24/7 so that even that passing brief exchange in the corridors of power is recorded including "Do you take sugar with your coffee?"

You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too

Gomez Adams

Re: Check you can complete before you start

I would assert that "THESE INSTRUCTIONS" is ambiguous as it could refer to just the instructions before the the start of the questions.More instructions after the questions start could be quite rightly construed to be not part the "THESE INSTRUCTIONS" referred to.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

Gomez Adams

My knees have long gone past being happy to get up an flip sides every twenty minutes just for me to get annoyed when a favourite record has a scratch across it. :(

Worried about being replaced by a robot? Become a physicist

Gomez Adams

So they have a delivery driver down at 71%. If they mean they can get the goods delivered 71% of the way then they are way under what should be currently possible. However the difficult bit that I don't see automation being able to handle in the foreseeable future is moving the goods that last 1% of the way over rough ground, between badly parked vehicles, through stiff lobby doors, up tight twisty stairs to the customer's door. Not happening.

In IT, no good deed ever goes unpunished

Gomez Adams

Could have done the changes then sat on them for the rest of the usual time up until the first panicky call from management while getting on with doing something useful ... or not useful. :)

Robot vacuum cleaner employed by Brit budget hotel chain Travelodge flees

Gomez Adams

Not quite the clean break it was hoping for. :(

Epoch-alypse now: BBC iPlayer flaunts 2038 cutoff date, gives infrastructure game away

Gomez Adams

What about 2028?

Have Unisys now totally expunged this issue from their OS1100/2200 systems?

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions

Gomez Adams

I called the lady on my old Garmin sat-nav Mona. :)

I always turn the volume down to zero when using any sat-nav these days.

All I want for Christmas is a delivery address that a delivery courier can find

Gomez Adams

As a delivery driver of many years experience 99% of the time the problem lies with the customer who fail to have adequately clear signage as to where they live. OK, if they live in a communal building then it may be down to the management company / housing trust / etc which have failed to sign which of several blocks is which or which is the entrance to particular flat numbers but in that case the residents should be complaining to them to get it sorted rather than moan about delivery drivers left wondering which mole hill is which.

BTW putting a house number on the side of the house or on an open gate neither of which is visible from the road is not a clever idea. Nor is allowing that bush in the garden to overgrow the house sign.

Finally, delivery instructions which say it is the house with the blue car on the drive is not much good if the car is not there or it is a dark evening on an unlit village road. Nor instructions which say it is the third house in the left but which do not say which direction that is coming from.

User locked out of Microsoft account by MFA bug, complains of customer-hostile support

Gomez Adams

A genuine IT professional would not click willy-nilly on a link on an unsolicited email.

Off yer bike: Apple warns motorcycles could shake iPhone cameras out of focus forever

Gomez Adams

Garmin recognised motorcycle vibration as a problem with their sat-nav units a long, long time ago which is why they have a separate range of hardened devices for motorcycle use (Tom Tom were several years later to the partly).

Robots don't smoke, says Alibaba, and that's why they deliver parcels so fast

Gomez Adams

If they allowed the humans to see the same mapping information being used by the bots they would be able to find the customer just as easily. And humans can negotiate rough ground, overgrown shrubbery and steps a lot more easily.

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful

Gomez Adams


CEC tends to cause more problems than it solves. I use a CEC killer HDMI adapter for all devices except my Chromecast dongle.

Gomez Adams

A decent universal remote is the one true way

Download the config from the internet for the devices you have and away you go.

I was so pleased with my Harmony that I got a second one as back up. :)

Words to strike fear into admins' hearts: One in five workers consider themselves 'digital experts' these days

Gomez Adams

So they really mean they are "expert users".

We used have a team in our IT department called End User Computing which the rest of us took as their mission statement rather than their name. :)

Bank of England ponders minting 'Britcoin' to sit alongside the Pound

Gomez Adams

Re: What could possibly go wrong?

Or the Dutch Tulip Mania. :/

Turns out humans are leading AI systems astray because we can't agree on labeling

Gomez Adams

I am gob-smacked that labellers are allowed to know what other labellers are identifying objects as while doing their job! :o

You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right? Trust... but verify

Gomez Adams

My own experience of something similar is much more mundane. Lent a USB charging cable to someone at an outdoor event who neglected to tell me they had dropped it in a puddle. Next thing I know the USB socket on my phone is borked! :(

Spent the next seven years using only wireless charging and Bluetooth or FTP file transfers until I eventually got a new phone last month.

Not sunshine, moonlight or good times – blame it on the buggy

Gomez Adams

Where I worked if we had exhaustively (and exhaustingly) eliminated all possible other reasons for a one-off, irreproducible glitch then we wrote it off as a "neutrino hit on the computer processor". In other words we had managed to do something that none of the well thought out and designed experiments that have been running for many, many years had managed to do in detecting one of the little blighters! :)

The revolution will not be televised because my television has been radicalised

Gomez Adams

My TV does not nag me about anything. But then I just use it as a TV and choose which channels and which programmes I want to use. If I don't like what I see I choose something else.

So I am unclear as what the OP's problem is? Is it the TV itself doing this to him or is it one or more of the (not so) "smart" apps that are installed?

Machine learning gets semi conscious... Waymo, Daimler vow to bring self-driving trucks to American highways

Gomez Adams

The acid test will be if Homer can drive one of these safely.

Ancient telly borked broadband for entire Welsh village

Gomez Adams

Surely checking for interference should have been done *before* spending loadsa money on replacing cables? Standard basic checking. Was this the kind of interference that can be detected by anyone using an AM radio?

Tesco self-service separates innocent Reg reader from beer after collapsing into heap of Windows dialog boxes

Gomez Adams

Look on the bright side: The smeary screen may be the result of being de-sanitised used a liquid cleaner which leaves a deposit as it dries.

These days I never use my fingertips on any public touch screen or keyboard but use a knuckle instead then use the de-sanitiser provided as I leave the store (use it on the way in to protect others from me and on the way out to protect me from others).

Oh crap: UK's digital overlords moot new rules to help telcos lay fibre in sewer pipes

Gomez Adams

Presumably this will be called a fatband connection? :)

Europe publishes draft rules for coronavirus contact-tracing app development, on a relaxed schedule

Gomez Adams

I look forward to installing the Windows Mobile 81 version of the app on my phone.

Y2K quick-fix crick? 1920s come roaring back after mystery blip at UK's vehicle licensing agency

Gomez Adams

And then there is the 2028 problem on Sperry / Univac / Unisys mainframes as favoured by the US DoD due to the year being stored in a 6 bit field with Year Zero being 1964 - The TDATE$ issue.

Attention! Very important science: Tapping a can of fizzy beer does... absolutely nothing

Gomez Adams

Re: This theory always puzzles me

Having opened the can the tiniest amount the be prepared to wrap your lips round it while you open it a little more and use your mouth as a natural expansion chamber. :)

The Windows Phone keeps ringing but no one's home: Microsoft finally lets platform die

Gomez Adams

Still using my Lumia 820 with an Android tablet to hand to fill the app gap which mainly means Google Maps and BT Sport.

In tribute to Galaxy Note 7, BBC iPlayer support goes up in flames for some Samsung TVs

Gomez Adams


I use a Chromecast dongle for all my Smart-TV-itiy controlled from my Android tablet.

We asked for your Fitbit horror stories and, oh wow, did you deliver: Readers sync their teeth into 'junk' gizmos

Gomez Adams

At least when I replaced my Charge HR with a Charge 2 they seem to have fixed the strap skin allergy problem and provided a much more robust connection for the charger. Not had any of the sync / battery problems mentioned here though I am up to date. Tend to sync via the USB dongle plugged into my Windows 8 laptop rather than my Android tablet though need to use the latter to edit self-defined activities.

Take two cornerstones of British life, booze and queues, then squirt them with face scans: AI Bar

Gomez Adams

Re: Not the trickiest problem in pubs these days...

I can't face anything brewed from Thames water.

Gomez Adams

One other rule that bar queuing needs to use: If I have wandered up to the bar for my third or fourth refill with my glass still half full to tide me over while waiting I am quite happy to give way to someone coming into the pub and are desperate for their first pint.

And what about bar flies who like to drink and chat at the bar rather than moving elsewhere after being served? Is the queuing system able to ignore them?

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames

Gomez Adams

TBH Harry could have been a bit more tactful in telling the user that is what the spell checker does when it detects what it thinks is a wrongly spelt word.

Aussies, Yanks may think they're big drinkers – but Brits easily booze them under the table

Gomez Adams

So in a country where one person had one drink and everyone else drank nothing then that would score at 100% and top the tipsy table. Or am I missing something?

It was all Yellow: Mass email about a Coldplay CD breaks the internet

Gomez Adams

Re: music-for-people-who-don't-like-music

Never understood the Coldplay hate. There music is much of a muchness with that of their contemporaries.

Here's a race condition we can get behind: Neural net learns to keep up with 'skilled' amateur track driver in robo-ride safety experiment

Gomez Adams

A second slower on a 39 second lap is a lifetime!

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

Gomez Adams

There was the story of a shift operator showing some newbies some basic op console commands for a Unisys mainframe where I worked. All harmless until he decided to show them the $! command which did *not* need you to then hit Enter to action it to reboot the computer (think CRL+ALT+DEL)!

Dollar, Bang by name and Dollar Bang by nature! :)

Santander hands over $700m to IBM in hopes of becoming incredible banking machine

Gomez Adams

Re: David Chaos

Having a Dave Chaos in charge reminds of when the old Abbey had a guy in charge of bed and breakfasting cash overnight on the stock exchange called Dave Gamble! :)

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Gomez Adams

Presumably as long as the relative timestamps received from the visible satellites locked onto stays the same the device's will still work out its correct location?

Apple co-founder and former CEO has the most expensive John Hancock on the planet

Gomez Adams

You do know a John Hancock is more commonly slang for something else?! :o

Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

Gomez Adams

"bastardized" is a bastardised spelling is it not?

Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month

Gomez Adams

No matter what the specs say this is the kind of detail that an experienced developer would have checked back on.

Motorised robo-coolbox biz Starship makes lunchtime pitch to campus-dwellers

Gomez Adams

Never mind the last mile. The tricky bit is the last 20 yards over broken, rough ground, steps, blocked with cars and toys and blocked by overgrown shrubbery.